Greensburg man shared woodworking talent with church, community
Ed Iezzi discovered his talent for woodworking following a real mid-life crisis.
“He got interested in it when he had open heart surgery when he was 40 and he was laid up for a couple of months,” said his son, Christopher. With time on his hands, Mr. Iezzi invested in carving tools and turned wood blocks into scale models of human figures.
“From there, he started to make furniture,” his son said. “He got joiners and planers, every kind of woodworking tool. Many of the things he would design and plan himself. He could just figure out how to do anything.”
Edward J. Iezzi, 82, of Greensburg died Tuesday, March 5, 2019, in Excela Westmoreland Hospital of sudden cardiac arrest. Born Feb. 18, 1937, in Greensburg, he was a son of the late Giuseppe and Margaret Occhuizzo Iezzi.
After graduating from Greensburg Salem High School in 1955, Mr. Iezzi worked for about two decades installing furnaces and air conditioning units for Little Joe’s Sheet Metal Shop in Greensburg.
He then spent many years as the head of maintenance at St. Bruno Catholic Church in South Greensburg, where he also worshiped and assisted with fish fries and the annual church festival.
“He did a whole remodel in the back of the church,” his son said. “He designed and made the confessionals, and he made some of the kneelers in the confessionals.”
Mr. Iezzi also completed home remodeling projects for all of his children and still had time to shape wood into gifts for his grandchildren and for acquaintances in his community.
“He built us a rounded front porch,” daughter-in-law Lori Iezzi said. “We went on vacation for a week and came back, and he surprised us with it.”
“He made a train set out of wood, and then he made the tracks for it,” his son noted.
Annually, Mr. Iezzi would deliver Christmas gifts he made from wood to the offices of doctors, bankers and others in town who provided him services.
Regularly rising at 4 a.m., he carried neighbors’ newspapers and mail from the curb to their doorsteps.
“He just had a big heart,” his son said. “He did it up until the morning he passed.”
Mr. Iezzi is survived by his wife of 57 years, Frances; three children, Beth Iezzi (John Noble) and Christopher Iezzi (Lori), all of Greensburg, and Michelle Fichtner (Rob), of North Huntingdon and nine grandchildren.
Parting prayers will be held at 9:15 a.m. Saturday in the Clement L. Pantalone Funeral Home, 409 W. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg, followed by a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Bruno Church. Interment will follow in Greensburg Catholic Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the St. Bruno Rosary Altar Society, 1729 Poplar St., South Greensburg, PA 15601.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .